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Home The Decades 1970s President Nixon's Resignation

President Nixon's Resignation

VAV!/August 9, 2011

In a national televised address on the evening of August 8, 1974, President Nixon announced his decision to resign as United States President. August 9, 1974 at noontime, President Richard Nixon's resignation was official. The President had been facing the possibility of certain impeachment and removal from office for the Watergate scandal.

What was Watergate?

Watergate or the Watergate Scandal was an American political scandal taking its name from the Watergate Hotel in Washington DC. The Watergate Scandal was the targeted site of a June 17, 1972 break in of the Democratic Party National Headquarters located in Watergate.

The burglars were Bernard Baker, James W. McCord, Jr., Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinex and Frank Sturgis who were all linked to officials of Nixon's 1972 Committee to Re-elect the President.

Soon following the break in, the FBI, Watergate Committee officials, and media investigations by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, both of the Washington Post, discovered these burglars were linked to officials of President Nixon's 1972 Committee to Re-elect the President.  The  investigations revealed illegal activities, wiretaps, and campaign 'tricks' undertaken in connection with Nixon and his staff.

As a result of these incriminating findings, several administration officials resigned. E. Howard Hunt, Jr. and G. Gordon Liddy were indicted for burglary, conspiracy, and violations of federal wiretapping laws in connection with the burglary. Former Attorney General John Mitchell was convicted of offenses connected with the break-in.

President Nixon vehemently denied any involvement with the Watergate Burglary.

Through court orders, tape recordings of conversations between the President and his advisers it was revealed that Mr. Nixon had indeed participated in a cover-up. Also revealed, was Nixon's attempt to use the Central Intelligence Agency to divert the FBI's investigation into the break-in.

And the rest of the story is history...

Following Nixon's resignation, Vice President Gerald Ford became president of the United States. On September 8, 1974, Ford pardoned Nixon for "all offenses against the United States" which Nixon "has committed or may have committed or taken part in" during his presidency.

Nixon responded with an issued statement in which he said that he regretted "not acting more decisively and forthrightly in dealing with Watergate."


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